Author Archives: Michael Geary

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2018 Summer Outing??? Somethings to Consider

Work can be stressful at times and it’s vital for all of the team to step outside the office to recharge. With summer generally more casual, it’s an ideal time to sponsor a company get-together. Summer outings are fun and events most look forward to attending. They can also foster a more cohesive and positive workplace. Summer is right around the corner, and this is a perfect time to consider your outing. And you do not have to break the bank to effectively host one. Make certain your great intentions are well received!

Some of the Perks:

Within most organizations there is a set workflow. We most likely connect and work with the same people each day due to job function. Outings break the barriers.

Building a solid team is an ongoing process and it is important to consistently make sure your team is working well together and reaching goals smoothly. Employees interact everyday at work, but a summer outing can be a catalyst for more team chemistry, if its presented properly.

Parallel to the old saying “all work and no play”; everyone needs time off to relax outside the office. Summer outings provide fun and festivities to reduce employee burnout. Once it’s time to get back to the everyday grind, everyone should feel recharged. Outings can create more energy in the workplace, leading to stronger and more productive teams!

4 Things To Think About:

1) WHEN IS THE BEST TIME:

If possible try to pick a day that will make employees feel appreciated and have the lowest impact on company productivity .  Friday’s in the summer are generally the slowest day of the work week. Many companies try to plan for a Saturday, but you have to keep in mind how that will be received by many of your company’s weekend warriors, families with children’s schedules to consider and people that already feel they dedicate enough time to corporate life during the week. 

2) ENGAGE YOUR EMPLOYEES

There are easy to use online interactive survey tools that are relatively inexpensive.  Put together a short list of questions: some multi-choice, some typed answer.  Use this information as a starting point.  Then determine based on demographics what employees might enjoy.  Google has plenty of fun summer ideas.  Make sure you account for seasonal weather. It’s always beneficial to have a B-plan.

3)  WHAT IS YOUR OBJECTIVE:

Are you simply saying “we appreciate your work”?  Trying to team build or just pulling the people together for a non-office event?  If you are hosting a day retreat, I recommend a Monday or Friday. Multiple day events can be costly even if they are effective. There are plenty of alternative’s to spending money on summer outings that take less time away from work.  We can even have some fun delivered in a box weekly, monthly or quarterly.  Our fun even has a proven ROI. Make a positive impact and collaborate with others within your organization. 

4)  COLLABORATIVE PLANNING

You may have the perfect recipe, with on the ingredients to make the best cake but double-check with a fresh perspective from 1 or 2 colleagues.  This is supposed to be fun and keep it consistent with your objective.  Design different activities for people of all skills and ages.  Keep it interactive.  And when the big day comes, relax.  Only a few people will ever know what was supposed to happen on paper.  Build a party, let the people bring the fun. Enjoy.

The Think Tank:

1)  VOLUNTEERING

Determine a worthy cause that your company supports.  By coordinating a day of volunteering you create a sense of community and help others.  This is good for the mind and body. Being in business sometimes means giving back to the community.  Cash is king, but it’s not everything.  Team building and personal reward are just two of the benefits your time will reap.  Think of the impact you will leave!

2)  BBQ OR FINGER SANDWICHES

Think of the wedding you attended last year.  What do you really recall?  The food, the music, the menu and the people!  Don’t get too hung up on every little detail, it’s supposed to be fun for you planning it as well as those in attendance.  Give them something to remember.  Keeping the food selection on the down low will create interest and keep people in suspense.  Everyone loves great food and eating a meal together can improve employee relations.  Watch the amount of employer sponsor alcohol, that can hurt employee relations.

3)  DODGE BALL OR KICKBALL

Form teams randomly.  You want to cultivate new relationships.  People will understand and become more familiar with co-workers they normally “see in the hall”. Make sure the activities match up with your demographics and culture.

4)  F1 RACING OR ROPES COURSES

This is a great activity if you work with adventurous people. Check your local area. Corporate group discounts are often available and they are accustomed to handling these events regularly.  They may be a great resource with planning as well.

Check out your own backyard.  Philly Duck Boats are WWII amphibious vehicles that have been reborn.  Tour guides give insight to our great city and reveal much of the great history we may have never known or remind us of what we once learned.

YOUR NEXT SUMMER OUTING SHOULD BE FUN AND INCORPORATE TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES EVERYONE WILL ENJOY.

Contact Synurture. if you need a hand.  302-668-9131


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Earn CREDIT for HEALTHY PEOPLE today

Category : Uncategorized

 

Synurture has a simple strategy for you to begin earning credit for your healthy people with your insurance company.  According to CIGNA, one of the largest medical carrier in the country, less than 25% of adults have their annual wellness visit.  If insurance companies do not know that you are healthy, they price rates for the worst possible scenario.

Earning credit begins today.  The program is best implemented well in advance of renewal and is the starting point of a wellness conversation.  The sooner the program begins the sooner you begin to receive credit.  

When do you have time to discuss?

 

 


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Keep Human Resources: Fun!

Sales calls. Obamacare. Trumpcare. Payroll. Audits. Sales calls. Due diligence files. Interviews. Terminations. Training. Compliance. Sales calls.  1095a-1095z, I-9, W-2, PCORI fees. A.C.A., H.S.A., F.S.A., D.C.A., E.R.I.S.A., C.O.B.R.A., H.I.P.A.A. & omg!  On top of that it’s only 10 a.m.  Now someone just confused the sign on your door with mental health counselor, and your boss wants to meet with you.  (Bless you.)

The Human Resources’ position is like the lifeguard at the indoor pool: often underappreciated, yet highly necessary.  The primary job of the lifeguard is to make sure everyone else is safe and enjoy themselves:  Are there an appropriate amount of swimmers in the pool? Are the chemicals just right? Is little Timmy walking around the pool or running again? He is such a devious boy.

Now, imagine ten times number of people, but YOU aren’t the lifeguard at the indoor pool. You are the lifeguard on your favorite beach. And the weather is perfect. No need for chemicals; aside from maybe your sunscreen. The ocean is plenty big for all swimmers. You don’t even worry about Timmy because the sand he is running on is fine, gentle and forgiving. The sun warms your shoulders, your shades are on, and the sound of people having fun is only muffled by the ebbing waves.

What really changed between the two scenarios? Same job. Fewer chemicals. Ten times more people. Little Timmy is still having fun. And now you are too. The answer doesn’t have to be your location.

With the consistent sky-rocketing prices of employee benefits, the watchful eye of the Department of Labor and the increased out-of-pocket burden, employee benefits have lost their appeal, charm and enchantment. But it does not have to be that way!

Recently, I connected with the ‘God Father of Fun’.  He says, “think inside the box”.   Some company’s devote a good deal of money with the best of intentions.  Is it well received?

Do you have a ‘fun’ benefits program to attract the demand from the Millennials and retain the Baby Boomers?  There may be marginal increases in cost but we have a proven return on your investment.

We use a different approach. It’s simple, effective and attractive. It allows you creativity and flexibility to begin building the programs that help define your culture.  It aids in communicating the message from behind your CEO’s door and resonates those words throughout your organizational chart.

Synurture will help you take a look at the “benefits” from a different angles and offer you a fresh perspective. We have the resources to keep you compliant too.

Synurture has plenty of ideas.   Fun is “1 Click” away. Give us a call (302)-668-9131 or e-mail info@synurture.com.

 


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Top 10 + 2 Health Tips for 2018

No doubt about it we are an instant society.  We do not like waiting. Fast food, on demand, fad diets, and cure-all prescriptions: our lives move so quickly.  Of course it doesn’t even occur to us even after we hit the floor from pure exhaustion. Day after day, we often, by nature, try to taking care of everyone else and often forget to properly care for ourselves.  For best results try including a new health tip into your daily routine every week.  Don’t take on too much too fast.  Success is long-term, results are usually immediate.

Consider these Top 10 + 2 action items for working toward a healthier “you” in 2017.

Truth in Nutritional Label. Eating right is actually pretty simple.  As I tell my children, the labels on food tell us most of what we need to know.  Watch out for processed sugars, pay attention to serving sizes.  We need calories, we need to cut down on sugars. Slowly shift toward a healthy eating plan including a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.

Breathe Easy. Take 10 deep breaths. Relax. De-stress.  Slows heart rate. Increases oxygen to brain.

Check the mail 2 times. Meaning you do not have to run a marathon, you do need to motion.  If you only walk a mile. Try walking 2 miles.  Aim to get at least 20 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, a day.  You will feel great. Aids in weight loss and overall health.

No more butts about it!  No more smoking or tobacco or Nicoret gum or patches.  I am not here to tell you what you already know.  Fact is nicotine is out of your system within 3 days.  THREE days, after that it’s only in your head. Most effective way to stop for good is COLD TURKEY.  You got this!  You’re worth it!

Off the grid after dark. 7-9 hours per night.  Make sure you buy a decent pillow.  If you are frugal like me take the cost and divide by number of hours per year you rest your head.  My pillow costs less than $0.04/ hour. Buy a decent pillow.  Unplug: Cell phones, TVs, things that go beep or buzz, try to power down.

Go see your doctor, 1 time per year.  Preventative medicine saves lives and lowers claims in the long run.  Schedule in advance, and take the two hours to do it.  $0 co-pay and you probably still won’t do it.  You are very important. Ask your doctor about what screenings are recommended for you and appropriate diet and exercise routine.

Social Wellbeing. Be actively part of something bigger than what’s in your small timeshare we call life.  It could be as easy as saying “hello” to a stranger. Investing in people around you has a butterfly effect.  If you do not have a community walk, reach out a little farther and start one with friends.

Stress Less. This is a MONSTER.  Try lemon.  The scent of lemon naturally relieves stress. Take deep breath and release.  Foods: Turkey, Salmon, Dark Chocolate.  Even the sun works wonders.  

Work toward or maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, work toward losing 5-7% of your weight to significantly reduce your health risks. Studies show that individuals who track their food intake or exercise using an app, such as mapmyrun, lose more weight and keep it off compared to those who don’t track.

S.M.A.R.T goals. General goals such as “I think I will walk the dog more often” is not effective. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely. “I will walk 20 minutes over my lunch break on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays” is a S.M.A.R.T. goal.

Stay positive. Health goals don’t always go as planned. When you face challenges, focus on all of the positive changes you have made, no matter how small they seem. Treat yourself with kindness, like you would with a good friend.

Be Happy.  Being happy is an active choice.  It’s the first choice you can make in the morning, or you can wait until after your cup of tea or coffee.

Need help reaching these goals?  Contact Synurture 302-668-9131.


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The Defining Elements of a Winning Culture – Harvard Business Review

Winning behavior starts at the top. If you want to take a “reading” on how well your message is received just ask your organization’s foot soldiers or better yet, have someone outside your organization gather some information from people throughout the company. Everyone should know exactly what message is being transmitted from behind closed doors: even if they never directly see or know what’s on the PowerPoint slide. Harvard Business Review’s research revealed seven traits of strong cultures:

  • Honest. There is high integrity in all interactions with employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
  • Performance-focused. Rewards, development, and other talent-management practices are in sync with the underlying drivers of performance.
  • Accountable and owner-like. Roles, responsibilities, and authority; all reinforce ownership over work and results.
  • Collaborative. There’s recognition that the best ideas come from the exchange and sharing of ideas between individuals and teams.
  • Agile and adaptive. The organization is able to turn on a dime when necessary and adapt to changes in the external environment.
  • Innovative. Employees push the envelope in terms of new ways of thinking.
  • Oriented toward winning. There is strong ambition focused on objective measures of success, either versus the competition or against some absolute standard of excellence.

Your company should be hitting on at least 3 of these if you want to thrive and lead. If you are not, maybe it’s time to reconsider some corporate policies.

When you are ready for a change, try implementing just ONE of the above by the following these steps. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but developing an idea starts today. In order to best measure success, try:

  • Pick one trait. Write it down.
  • Create action items – Accomplish the goal by a specific date. Make sure the actions are in line with your mission, reasonable and measurable. Write them down.
  • Check-in – Set reminders every few weeks to determine progress. If you are not achieving the desired results change part of your method; ask for other opinions, until you begin seeing desirable effects at your next check-in.
  • Perform a 360 Team Audit – Ask people outside your organization for ideas. Reevaluate periodically.
  • Assess –When you see desired outcome it is time to choose another “trait”. Change begins with you. Success may be not be immediate, starting the process is the first step. The final evaluation will amaze you!

According to the Harvard Business Review, “culture plays a vital role in performance. Winning cultures treat performance as an explicit output and foster an environment that is conducive to generating the best possible results — not just for employees, but for customers, suppliers, and, yes, even shareholders.”  Defining your culture is critically important to achieving goals.

One way companies communicate culture internally is through employee benefits which tie your mission to the bottom-line.  Your culture is communicated by benefit programs throughout your organization. The message received is equally as important as the message sent. We assist your company by making sure one of your most powerful cultural messages is properly communicated and received by your most valuable asset: your employees.

Lifting your company to achieve success is what we do. Need a fresh set of eyes? Call me for some ideas: (610) 314-5693.

Full Article: Harvard Business Review

 


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Embedded vs. Non-embedded Deductibles

 

 

You’ve most likely read that you have to “meet your deductible” when making a choice on your  health insurance benefits offered by your employer or on an Explanation of Benefits (EOB). Below is a summary of the two traditional types of deductibles for family plan. By understanding which one you have, your financial responsibilities, and how they apply, you will be more prepared, if you incur out-of-pocket deductible charges in the future. Different Employer’s have varying definitions on how the deductible is ultimately treated with the program they offer. If you are part of your company’s group health policy check with your Human Resources person or advisor.

Deductibles by Definition

A deductible is the amount of money  you are responsible for paying after a claim is settled by an insurance company. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible, you will have to pay for all health care costs until you’ve reached $1000. After that, it is your insurance company’s financial responsibility to cover additional expenses; additional co-payments and co-insurance may apply. The deductible is usually calendar based and resets annually.

Your deductible may not apply to all health care services: wellness visits, Ob/Gyn, mammograms, immunizations and most screenings.  These expenses are currently covered by your insurance regardless of whether you’ve met your deductible thanks to the ACA .  Additionally, most covered benefits of your health plan, less co-pays and co-insurance, apply to your deductible.   For example, if you have satisfied your annual deductible and visit the doctor for an illness, co-payments may apply.

Deductibles with Family Coverage

Insurance plans can cover an individual or a family. If the plan is for family coverage, the deductible can be designed as either an embedded or non-embedded deductible.

Embedded Deductibles

Embedded deductibles have two components:

  1. The individual deductibles for each family member
  2. The family deductible

 

Once a family member meets their individual deductible, future claims are the financial responsibility of the insurance company according to your plan’s coverage. usually defined in the benefit summary sheet. If only one person meets an individual deductible, the rest of the family still has to pay their deductibles. Typically, there are limits on the number of family member deductibles there are. Please refer to your company’s ACA compliant Summary Plan Description sheets which are updated annually.

Most out-of-pocket expenses incurred are applied to your deductible. Family plans are usually based on 2-3 times the individual deductible.  And individual deductibles apply to the total family deductible.  Keep in mind that after an individual satisfies his or her limit, co-insurance or co-pays typically do not apply.

When the family deductible is met, all family members will have medical expenses paid according to the plan’s coverage, even if they have not met their own individual deductibles. Having an embedded deductible is most common for non-high deductible health plans (HDHP).

Non-embedded Deductibles

A non-embedded, or aggregate, deductible is simpler than an embedded deductible. With a non-embedded deductible, there is only 1 limit for all family members collectively. However, this plan treats co-pays or co-insurance the same way; they usually do not apply. It doesn’t matter if one person incurs all the expenses that meet the deductible or if two or more family members contribute toward meeting the family deductible. The non-embedded deductible is most common in consumer driven health plans.

Summary

Regardless of which type of deductible your plan uses, remember that you will need to pay that amount out-of-pocket before your insurance will start paying. Deductible charges rarely are paid at the point of service.  All claims should be submitted from the provider to the carrier so that all discounts available are applied.  Once the claim is adjudicated the insurer will pay the provider the contracted rate and send you an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) outlining your out-of-pocket.  Ultimately, it is your financial responsiblity to pay the provider.